Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Anti-BDS Propaganda Fail

The anti-BDS crowd has been dealt a major blow to their propaganda attempts this week after MSCI made it clear that Israel was a major factor in its decision to remove Caterpillar from three of its popular indexes that track socially responsible investments.

Last week several pro-Israel groups claimed that, once again, the "BDS Movement Tells Lies and Creates Pretend 'Victories'" and that TIAA-CREF's decision to remove $72 million in Caterpillar shares from its Social Choice Fund had nothing to do with Israel.  

But from an MSCI statement issued June 25: 
“The key factors determining the rating include a January 2012 labor dispute and subsequent plant closing in Canada, an on-going controversy associated with use of the company‚Äôs equipment in the occupied Palestinian territories, management of environmental issues, and employee safety."
This doesn't mean that Caterpillar is willing to get the message just yet. Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan said in a statement: "We hope and wish for a peaceful resolution to the unrest in the Middle East, but that solution is a political matter to be worked out by the appropriate parties. Caterpillar does not and should not have a role in that political process." But apparently Caterpillar has no problem having a role in destroying Palestinian homes and being complicit in Israeli human rights abuses

The Israeli government is in even greater denial. "Mixing politics and the economy in such a desperate and biased manner makes for very poor economic results and even poorer politics," said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.
"As long as they [Palestinians] spend their time on negative hate campaigns instead of building their own society and economy, they will be on the losing side at the end of the day."

The desperate attempts to spin this clear
BDS victory for human rights into something else is just another sign of the increasing success of BDS activism both in the United States and across the world. We have to use this win to push harder to end corporate complicity in Israeli occupation and apartheid. 

Sign our letter
to the Presbyterian Church-USA urging them to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola Solution and HP. Register for our National Organizers' Conference at St. Louis University September 21-23 to strengthen BDS efforts. And check out our website for more ideas on how you can get involved.